Jet Lagging Behind

Oban, Scotland, summer 2019

Dear Reader,

I am a morning creature (see my post about it here). I awake from sleep naturally every morning before 7am, as if my body were simply just deciding that it has had enough sleep. I enjoy the mornings and find myself to be at my most productive before 10am. In fact, after I eat dinner at around 5pm or 6pm, I feel as if my tired body is simply waiting to go to sleep. As if, anything after dinner is just meant for digestion and nothing else. One of my goals is to be more productive with my time, so I can find enough time to work, but to also to aggressively pursue my hobbies. To meet this goal, I made a very interesting decision after I returned home from my trip to Scotland earlier this month. 

When one flies from Europe to the U.S., one often will experience a very long day and arrive back stateside in the evening or night. This transatlantic trip tends to leave many travelers feeling a bit jet lagged by the morning after they have returned home. My boyfriend and I both woke up pretty early after our Scottish adventure. We couldn’t complain though because we were behind on work and were happy to get an early start to the day. However, I took this little experience too far. I wanted to always be up super early and have productive days. I found this simple reasoning to be compelling enough and I decided to take the plunge and dramatically alter my sleep schedule.

Cambridge, MA, summer 2019

For the next few days, I went to sleep between 8 and 8:30pm and then woke up between 4 and 4:30am. Because some of the people I email are located in Europe, the switch to earlier mornings instantly paid off as I was able to have normally paced conversations with my European colleagues. Waking up early, also meant that I would commute to the office a bit earlier too. My early morning walks were so beautiful because I could experience the brilliant colors, which normally accompany the early-morning rising sun. Things worked out well in the beginning! However, I still found the evenings to be a bit of a problem. 

Going to sleep by 8:30pm for me means that I must start getting ready for bed by no later than 7:45pm. This strict bedtime certainly has its consequences. For one, at times, it can be impossible to go to sleep so early, for example, one of my part-time jobs has me on-site until between 8 and 8:30pm. Additionally, this early bedtime can really hinder my social plans. Lately, I’ve been declining dinner invitations and instead opting to eat between 4 and 5pm. 

Is there a perfect sleep schedule? I think that all sleep schedules should have a degree of flexibility, or we are doomed to frustrate ourselves. For me, I personally think that my 4:30 to 8:30pm lifestyle would work perfectly for me if I lived in a bubble. However, I do not live in a bubble and temptations like a dinner out or a morning sleeping in are frequent occurrences. I jet lagged myself on purpose. For the past few weeks I’ve been acting as if I had just stepped off of a plane from the Glasgow airport. What an experiment this has been. I need sleep, real sleep with beautiful dreams. Whether you wake up a 4am or at 10am, sleep is a very precious thing, Dear Reader, and I hope you have a sleep schedule that makes you feel good all-day long.

Love,

Raven

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